With ex-Apple executives, Qualcomm wants to upgrade the M2 chip

Qualcomm has ambitions to catch up to the latest Apple Silicon chips in performance. If it is not new, this objective was reiterated this week by Cristiano Amon, CEO of the group, in an interview with the American media CNET. Most clearly in the world, the person concerned indicates that he is aiming “ leadership in performance on CPUs for PC, full stop “. These statements come alongside the announcement of the new low-power Apple M2 processors, initially intended for the new 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Two new laptops unveiled at the conference that the Cupertino giant held on Monday to kick off its WWDC 2022.

If Cristiano Amon reiterates, it is because he now has a team of engineers talented enough to develop a new chip capable of outclassing those of Apple. And for good reason, the team formed by Qualcomm in recent years is made up of former Apple engineers who laid the technical foundations which were used, a little later, in the development of the powerful M1 chip and its various versions. .

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Resulting from the takeover of the start-up Nuvia, confirmed last year, this team notably includes three former Apple executives, including Gerard Williams, who had overseen the creation of old “A” chips designed to power the iPhone. When Nuvia was created in 2019, these three engineers announced that they wanted to compete with AMD and Intel. In the meantime, the context has changed: since the announcement of the M1 chips at the end of 2020, the strongman to surpass in the field of processors has become Apple.

By acquiring Nuvia for $1.4 billion, Qualcomm secured the services of top-notch engineers with the skills required to potentially redistribute the cards on the ARM-based chip market. A paying bet? The first information that has leaked from Qualcomm’s development teams is encouraging, but we will have to wait before knowing if the objectives displayed by Cristiano Amon are really tenable… and if the new M2 chip can actually be beaten.

In the meantime, the CEO of Qualcomm welcomes the momentum of Apple, but also of Microsoft, towards the ARM world. In two years, the two firms have worked hard to encourage the development of programs and software capable of natively exploiting this architecture on a laptop and desktop computer market that until then was very focused on the x86 design exploited for decades by AMD and Intel.

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